Monthly Archives: November 2021

Our Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale has started!

via Pololu Blog

Our Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale is back! Visit the sale page to see all the available deals and add the necessary coupons to your cart, including special discounts on the new Zumo 32U4 OLED robots we released earlier today. The sale runs through Monday, November 29, and most of the sale coupons can be used on backorders if we happen to run out of stock, but you should still get your orders as soon as possible since production of many items is limited by the global parts shortages, and lead times to make more can be long.

Please note that during the sale, our order fulfillment times might be longer than usual, but we will do our best to get your order shipped as fast as we can. Additionally, we are closed Thursday, November 25 for Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving!

The Zumo gets a graphical display too: new Zumo 32U4 OLED Robot!

via Pololu Blog

Our 3pi+ 32U4 robot got an upgraded OLED display earlier this year, and now it’s the Zumo’s turn with the release of our new Zumo 32U4 OLED Robot!

In many ways, this new version is just like the original Zumo 32U4: it’s a versatile tracked robot designed to be a capable Mini-Sumo competitor, but with enough sensors and extra features to enable lots of other applications. The Zumo 32U4 OLED adds to that versatility by replacing the original LCD (liquid crystal display) with a high-contrast graphical OLED display. With this monochrome 128×64 screen, you can present high-density data displays to help you analyze the Zumo’s status and sensor readings, or you can add some flair to your Zumo by showing eye-catching graphics.

We’ve updated our Arduino library for the Zumo 32U4 to add OLED display support as well as an LCD compatibility layer (the same way we did for the 3pi+), letting you easily convert existing programs to run on the OLED version or write new programs that will work on both old and new robots.

As with the LCD version, the new Zumo 32U4 OLED robot is available as a kit (with motors not included so you can select your own to customize performance) or as a fully assembled robot with your choice of 50:1, 75:1, or 100:1 motor options

Assembled Zumo 32U4 robot.

Assembled Zumo 32U4 OLED robot.

Makin’ Art: "Convivial Machines" at the Museum of Boulder

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Recently, SparkFun sponsored an art exhibit at the Museum of Boulder, “Convivial Machines”, open now through February 6, 2022. The artists are local students, scientists, engineers and creatives that are part of the Boulder Experiments in Art and Technology (B.E.A.T.) meetup. “Convivial Machines” aims to emphasize the tension between the benefits that technology offers with its negative traits such as distraction, disruption, and environmental impact. The exhibit has a “light side” and “dark side” (literally) and has facilitated projects in which people collaborate and connect with each other, technology and nature. It features interactive, digital art, kinetic sculpture, music machines and much more. Let's explore a few of the exhibits.

Fantastical Tape Loop

Fantastical Tape Loop, Cha Cha & Jiffer Harriman, 2021 - photos by Priyanka Makin

Dark Side

"Enter the Dark Side" Door - photos by Priyanka Makin

One piece in the show is a collaborative music arcade built by Sean Winters, Chase Stewart, Jiffer Harriman, Torin Hopkins, Eric Atencio, and Spencer Arrasmith. “Galaga’s Ghost” allows viewers to participate and collaborate in generating music and visuals in a vintage arcade-style format.

Galaga's Ghost 1 Galaga's Ghost 2

Galaga's Ghost, Sean Winters, Chase Stewart, Jiffer Harriman, Torin Hopkins, Eric Atencio, & Spencer Arrasmith, 2021 - photos by Priyanka Makin

“Bioluminescent Touch” by Mirela Alistar and Netta Ofer highlights living dinoflagellates. Viewers are invited to interact with the algae and see them illuminate creating a connection and intimacy between people and the microorganisms.

Here are a few more snippets from the exhibit:

Bytes of Humanity

Bytes of Humanity, Gail Folwell, 2021 - photos by Priyanka Makin

Musical Dot Orchestra

Musical Dot Orchestra, Matt Moore, 2021 - photos by Priyanka Makin

Listening Lanterns

Listening Lanterns, Jiffer Harriman with special thanks to the B.E.A.T. Interactive LED Workshop participants, 2021 - video by Priyanka Makin

The B.E.A.T. meetup, founded by Jiffer Harriman, fosters explorations at the intersection of the arts with technology and science. The goal of the group is to share work, find collaborations in the community and get inspired. Pre-pandemic, Jiffer hosted various open mics and technology workshops around the city. Throughout the pandemic, the Zoom open mics have kept me sane and engaged with people. This gathering of artists and technologists offers quite a bit of overlap between the CU Boulder crowd and, more specifically, people involved in the ATLAS Institute.

Interactive LED Workshop

Interactive LED Workshop at the Museum of Boulder, 2021

B.E.A.T. Open Mic

B.E.A.T. Open Mic signage

Jiffer is a creative technologist, musician and educator based in Boulder. He runs the B.E.A.T. meetup and curated the “Convivial Machines” show. He teaches and develops courses for ATLAS and creates interactive systems for music, sound, and visual arts as well as software, PCB and embedded system design -- exactly like what we do here at SparkFun! He put a lot of work and thought into this exhibit that served as a creative opportunity and an avenue for human connection amidst a pandemic. If you’re a local, be sure visit the Museum of Boulder in the next few months and see this one-of-a-kind exhibit.

Nature Mobile

Nature Mobile in the Museum of Boulder window, Priyanka Makin, 2021 - photos by Priyanka Makin

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A Kit of Alphanumeric Proportions

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

This is the last week before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so all the new products this week are expected to be a great hit for the holidays! We start the week off with a new and simple kit for our Qwiic Alphanumeric Displays. Following that, we have FOC ESC robotics driver and a new OpenMV H7 camera. Let's jump in and take a closer look at all of our new products!

14-segments in a single kit!

SparkFun Qwiic Alphanumeric Kit

SparkFun Qwiic Alphanumeric Kit


The SparkFun Qwiic Alphanumeric Kit comes with two displays, one red and one white. Also included in this kit are 10 standoffs and screws for mounting as well as two Qwiic cables to get up and running as fast as possible. These fourteen-segment digits allow you to display all sorts of numbers, characters, and symbols. With Qwiic, simply plug it in and go. No soldering, no figuring out which is SDA or SCL and no voltage regulation or translation required!

SparkFun IOTA - Satellite Communication Module (ARTIC R2)

SparkFun IOTA - Satellite Communication Module (ARTIC R2)


Is your project linked to environmental protection, awareness or study, or to protecting human life? Perhaps you are developing a wildlife tracker, ocean buoy, environmental monitoring system or need to transfer emergency medical information? Do you need to be able to transmit and receive data anywhere? If so, this is the product for you! IOTA (Integrated Open-Source Transceiver for ARGOS) allows you to send and receive short bursts of data via the ARGOS satellite network, anywhere on Earth including the Polar regions.

Mini FOC ESC Based on VESC®6

Mini FOC ESC Based on VESC®6


The Mini FOC ESC Based on VESC®6 is a field-oriented control (FOC), electronic speed controller (ESC) board developed by Holybro using the Variable Electronic Speed Controller (VESC) format. No matter what your project is or what scale it has - as long as it incorporates electric motors or actuators, you can use this board to control and regulate the power. You will be able to set parameters that ensure that the motor operates safely.

OpenMV Cam H7 R2

OpenMV Cam H7 R2


The OpenMV H7 R2 Camera is a small, low power, microcontroller board which allows you to easily implement applications using machine vision in the real-world. The Plus variation adds 32 MB of external 32-bit SDRAM and 32 MB of external quad SPI flash. You program the OpenMV Cam in high level Python scripts (courtesy of the MicroPython Operating System) instead of C/C++. This makes it easier to deal with the complex outputs of machine vision algorithms and working with high level data structures.

JST Right-Angle Connector - SMD 2-Pin (Black)

JST Right-Angle Connector - SMD 2-Pin (Black)


This is a two pin, compact surface mount JST connector. We really like the solid locking feeling and high current rating on these small connectors.

That's it for this week. As always, we can't wait to see what you make. Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. We won't be have any new products to showcase next Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, but be sure to check in to find out more about the exciting sales we have planned. Please be safe out there and be kind to one another!

Never miss a new product!

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#TBT Arm DevSummit Recap!

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

It’s throwback Thursday, which means it’s the perfect excuse to post my reflection of the Arm DevSummit. My overview may be a month late but don’t be dismayed, all of the videos from the Arm DevSummit have been posted to their website. You just have to register and log in.

For those of you who didn’t tune in, I was graciously asked by Arm to co-host the DevSummit alongside my good friend, Robert Wolff, as well as the idiom-packed Brian Fuller. As with most events for the past 2 years, the Arm DevSummit was virtual. However, unlike any other event I’ve seen, Arm created a live, morning news show-esque track called Arm TV where my fellow co-hosts and I reflected on the keynotes, discussed our perspectives on industry trends, and interviewed some notable guests.

I of course couldn’t watch Arm TV live, but after the fact, friends and colleagues kept telling me that Arm TV was their favorite portion of the conference. Multiple people told me that they had it playing in the background and would shift their focus when something caught their ear which made me think of how my Dad always works on his computer while listening to the news on the TV in the background. Considering that feedback, I think Arm achieved something that no other virtual conference, that I’ve heard of, has managed to achieve: keeping people watching for the entire span of the virtual conference. Definitely not an easy task.

From my point of view, it was an experience unlike any other. Arm flew us all out to Silicon Valley for a week of pre-rehearsals and live recordings. They created an entire TV studio with film cameras, teleprompters, and a beautiful set - all supported by a team of more than 30 people on-site and in the UK-based control room. We even had earpieces with people in the UK telling us how much time was left and when we were up next to speak! It truly felt like I was on a TV show. I’m incredibly grateful to Arm, and specifically Robert, for giving me this opportunity. Thank you!

Now that I’ve gotten my excitement out of the way, let’s get to what this event was all about! As the ever so wise, Steve Balmer put it “Developers….developers….developers!” After all, this was Arm’s Developer Summit. And, oh boy, was it about developers. From the first keynote given by Arm’s CEO, Simon Siegers, to all of the workshops, presentations and interactive sessions. Arm developed an astounding array of content centered around new & innovative ways Arm technology is being used, their advancements in tools & resources for developers, and how they are partnering with some of the biggest companies within the industry.

With all the content they released, it would be impossible for me to cover everything, so here are my top 3 videos you should watch.

  1. Arduino and Raspberry Pi: Better Together In this talk, the two titans of the development board industry battle it out in the ring…Just kidding! It’s actually quite the opposite. In the talk, Eben Upton, Founder and CEO of Raspberry Pi, and Massimo Banzi, Co-Founder of Arduino, discuss their new alliance through the RP2040 microcontroller and what the future of microcontroller development looks like. It’s rare to see Eben and Massimo in the same conversation so you should definitely check it out!

  2. The Internet of Wild Things: Acoustics, AI and Conservation I’ve re-watched this talk a few times, yet it keeps blowing me away. In it, Topher White, CEO & Founder of Rainforest Connection, shows us how they are using AI running on low power Arm MCUs scattered throughout the rainforest to detect illegal de-foresters by the sounds of their chainsaws and trucks. Not only was I inspired by this use case, but I was incredibly impressed by how much they are able to do from an Arm MCU that’s not only doing edge processing but also communicating back to them via cellular, all while being solar-powered and in a small, waterproof, enclosure.

  3. Open Source Software and the Next Decade of Innovation Moderated by Andrew Wafaa, Distinguished Engineer and Senior Director of Software Communities at Arm, this incredible panel of Open Source advocates from around the industry discuss the impact Open Source software has had on the world, how it will continue to enable us to develop creative solutions to the problems we face, and what it means for developers globally.

In addition to those spectacular videos, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention SparkFun’s involvement in the Arm DevSummit. As with any great developer conference, there were many sessions where you could follow along with industry experts and learn how to use some of the latest and greatest technology. But unlike a conference for React.js developers, the Arm DevSummit was focused around developers using hardware! That’s exactly where SparkFun comes in. Arm partnered with SparkFun to provide about 200 free hardware kits spread out across 4 incredible workshops. Together, we developed the hardware kits to suit the needs of the workshop presenters and handled all of the distribution to make sure all of the winners had their kits just in time for the DevSummit. The videos for all of the workshops have already been posted so check them out!

To wrap-up this blog post, I wanted to address the elephant in the room. It’s been almost two years since in-person events last happened and, although we have all become much more used to our virtual existence, there is still so much value that is normally gained through in-person interactions which we are currently missing out on. Whether you start chatting to the person next to you at a talk or you run into a former colleague in the hallway or you go out for beers at the end of the night, one of the most important aspects of a conference is the random interactions that could lead to opportunities and collaborations and ideas which you would have never been exposed to if not for physically being there.

Arm made many innovative decisions when deciding how they wanted to run this conference, but one of the most important was their decision to create the DevConnect track. DevConnect was several virtual chat rooms that you could hop between and talk to whoever was online. Each room had a different topic but, like in any in-person interaction, that wasn’t super strict. I’m mentioning this because it was a step in the right direction towards bringing back those in-person, spur-of-the-moment, interactions that we have been without for the past two years. In-person events will come back eventually, but unlike before, they will most likely have a virtual aspect. These types of efforts to merge the two worlds will have measurable benefits now but immeasurable benefits in the future as they open up the entire world to information and interactions that were once kept hidden away behind the cold doors of convention centers everywhere.

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As they say in show business, thats a wrap!

Fun fact for anyone who made it to the end, although Robert and Brian were reading off of a teleprompter for the majority of their sections, I was entirely ad-libbing all of my response!. As you can imagine, that added to the already high-stress and low-sleep week so I hope I did a good job gilding the lilly.

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Surprise – Flash Sale!

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Flash Sale

We’re kicking off our holiday season sales with a flash sale! Now through tomorrow (Thurs, Nov 18) at 10am MST the Digital Multimeter - Basic is 40% off. Get yours now! Rules and information below.

Want a heads up on our next holiday surprise?

Sign up for our "Deals" List for the inside scoop!

Digital Multimeter - Basic

Digital Multimeter - Basic

$14.95 $8.97

Rules & Information for Flash Sale:

  • Flash sale will run from 10 a.m. MST Weds, November 17, 20201 through 10 a.m. MST Thurs, November 18, 2021.
  • No rainchecks or backorders will be allowed.
  • We will not be allowing the combining of orders during this sale.
  • Distributor and reseller accounts will not be eligible for sale prices unless specifically noted otherwise.

Please note: We will be working hard to ship as many orders as quickly as possible, but we cannot guarantee same-day shipping for sale orders. Please allow additional days for sale orders to ship due to increased volume.

Graphic showing a SparkFun shipping box under ice with the text Black Friday Cyber Monday Sale. Up to 70% off Select Products. November 26-29.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale

This year, we’re going to run a 4-day sale starting on Black Friday (11/26/21) and running through Cyber Monday(11/29/21). Select products will be up to 70% off! Any order placed that weekend will also receive a free SparkFun USB Thumbdrive. (No need to add to cart, we’re going to just throw one in with every order!)

You’ll be able to find all the deals over on our “Today’s Deal” page starting on Black Friday.

Rules and Information:

  • Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale will run from Friday, November 26 at 12:01 a.m. MST through Monday, November 29 at 11:59 p.m. MST.
  • No rainchecks or backorders will be allowed.
  • We will not be allowing the combining of orders during these sales.
  • Distributor and reseller accounts will not be eligible for sale prices unless specifically noted otherwise.

Please note: We will be working hard to ship as many orders as quickly as possible, but we cannot guarantee same-day shipping for sale orders. Please allow additional days for sale orders to ship due to increased volume.


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